Grading State Disclosure 2003 Logo Graphic

V i r g i n i a


golden bar divider

Campaign Disclosure Law
Electronic Filing Program
Disclosure Content Accessibility
Online Contextual & Technical Usability

Grading Process green cube Subcategory Weighting green cube Methodology green cube Glossary

golden bar divider

The State of Disclosure in Virginia

Virginia is ranked in the top 25 states, but its grade of D+ shows that its campaign finance disclosure program needs work. Virginia's strength lies in its Campaign Disclosure Law and its most significant weakness is in Disclosure Content Accessibility.

Virginia law requires candidates to file two statements in non-election years, two statements before primary elections and four statements before general elections. Information about contributors who give more than $100 must be reported, including information about a donor's occupation and employer. Last-minute contributions of $1,000 or more for statewide candidates ($500 for other candidates) must be reported by the next business day. All expenditures must be disclosed, including credit card details, but no other subvendor information is required. Independent expenditures must be reported, but last-minute independent expenditures do not have to be disclosed prior to an election. Virginia has mandatory electronic filing for statewide candidates and voluntary electronic filing legislative candidates.

Virginia has considerable room to improve its efforts to make campaign finance information accessible to the public. Disclosure reports are posted to the web site in a timely manner, but the site does not feature searchable databases of contributions or expenditures. Although it is buried in the web site, some site visitors might stumble across a non-functioning interface for searching reports, which is confusing because there is no explanation for why the site would continue to include a feature that is no longer operating.

The usability of the site is below average. However, the contextual information on the site is good, with an explanation of the law, information about what reports are online, clear labeling of reporting periods on the candidate filings, and the use of clear terminology throughout the site. There is a comprehensive list of candidates for current elections; however, it could be easier to view. The site could be improved with the addition of lists of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates and the posting of both of original campaign finance reports and amendments. It could also be easier for the public to locate the Board of Elections site from the state homepage.

Disclosure Agency: State Board of Elections
Disclosure Web Site:

Back to the Grading State Disclosure home page

View another state's summary:


This page was first published on September 17, 2003
| Last updated on September 17, 2003
copyright ©
Campaign Disclosure Project. All rights reserved.